A leading Garden State Gun rights advocate told Guns & Patriots New Jersey state laws that prohibit gun owners the right to carry firearms in public puts lives in danger and penalizes innocent citizens.
“Criminals in this state realize that anybody they attack is a defenseless victim,” said Frank Jack Fiamingo, president of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society. NJ2AS promotes the free exercise of Second Amendment protected-rights within the community and New Jersey Legislature.
Except for a few narrowly-defined exceptions, no one is able to properly defend their lives outside of their homes, he said. “If you live in New Jersey the criminal already knows you are a victim; the criminal already knows you are not armed.”
Fiamingo said an example is the case of Dustin Friedland, a 30-year old Hoboken-attorney shot in the head and killed, when two assailants attempted to steal his 2012 Range Rover in the parking lot of Short Hills Mall in Essex County last week.
The shooting was not about the car, said Fiamingo. “The young father was killed trying to protect his wife.”
Jamie Friedland ,who was also at the scene, was not injured in the shooting, he said.
“No one knows what could have happened if Friedland was armed,” he said. “But we do know that the criminal knew his victim was unarmed.”
It is outrageous that people do not have the option of properly defending their lives and their families, he said. “Criminals have nothing to worry about – it’s the law-abiding citizens who have done nothing wrong, who do.”
Fiamingo said arming even a small percentage of the state’s population would have a deterrent effect against crime. “Criminals would not be so bold to assume that the person they are attacking is a victim.”
When the State of Florida routinely began granting conceal carry permits 2 percent of the population signed-up and chose to carry a firearm, he said. “As a result crime dropped significantly.”
Giving criminals something to worry about is an effective tactic, he said.
“The victim might be someone who is armed; it might be someone who is very alert; it might be someone who keeps their hand on their gun ‘just in case’ as they walk through a mall parking lot,” he said. “Without the option of carrying a firearm, people are unable defend themselves.”
Currently in the Garden State handguns in public are banned unless one is an off-duty police officer or in a limited capacity – a security guard, he said.
“With the proper licensing requirements, such as background check and mental health record check, one can possess a firearm inside their home but there is no real possession of a working, loaded firearm outside of your home.”
New Jersey gun owners can possess an unloaded firearm that is locked in the trunk of one’s vehicle; to and from the range, to and from the gunsmith, to and from the store the purchase was made, or when in the process of moving from one legal residence to another, said Fiamingo.
“You can carry a rifle strapped around your back, but it cannot be loaded,” he said. “An unloaded firearm in one’s trunk or strapped around your back, will not be any good if you are being attacked.”
Carrying a firearm in public for the purpose of protection should not be considered a crime, he said. “A responsible law abiding citizen who carries a firearm is not going to all of a sudden rob a jewelry store.”
Restricting citizens for wanting to exercise their constitutional right to protect themselves and their families is illogical, he said. The state makes concessions for protection of armored vehicles but denies that same right to the individual.
“An armored car driver can protect themselves because they are protecting money, but we cannot carry firearms to protect our lives?” asked Fiamingo.
It is absurd that government bodies who swear to uphold the Constitution work against the people, he said. “The Second Amendment is part of the Constitution the government should be working with us.”
What was guaranteed to the people in the Second Amendment has no relevance in the Garden State, he said. “The purpose of the Second Amendment was to keep the balance of power with the people, of the people, for the people – where it belongs.”